New trails are always an adventure: what will the terrain be like? What will we see? Of course our guidebook is helpful, but anyone who uses trail guides knows that your experience can be very different than the one described for a lot of reasons. Our guidebook described the Fish Lake Trail in Glacier National Park as passing through “one of the most beautiful woodlands in the park.”
What do you think?
The trail reminded us of the woods that Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, and other storybook characters wandered through.
But the only characters we passed (other than fellow hikers) were several mule deer.
This hemlock tree shows signs of insect-hunting Pileated Woodpeckers. It’s hard to see the scale here, but these holes were large, which makes sense given the bird itself grows to about 17″! Unfortunately, we didn’t see any of the woodpeckers themselves, just evidence they were around.
Access to Fish Lake turned out to be rough going, with lots of underbrush. Maybe this explanation in the guidebook explains why: “Fish live in this lake, but they are not very tasty after the season progresses and the water warms up.” Well, it wasn’t very late in the season yet — still late July — but the bugs that were pesty on the trail were downright unbearable near the lake.
The best lake views were of Lake McDonald from the trail…
…and the trail itself!